In our previous blog we introduced you to your unique power process as a woman – your menstrual cycle. Here we introduce the Map of The Inner Seasons.
Your power process is made up of different phases each with their own developmental task that we like to call your sacred task. We think of these phases as different ‘muscle groups’ within you that need exercising for you to be able to experience a more coherent, grounded, easeful relationship to your power.
Your inner seasons
There are four key ‘muscle groups’ that we call your inner seasons or the Map of your Inner Seasons. Like the seasons of the year, through your menstrual month you move through an inner winter, spring, summer and autumn and back to winter again. Each phase ushers in a set of very specific resources and psychological challenges that help you grow you into and embody your power. In meeting these challenges you strengthen your metaphorical muscles, these elements of your power, and build the inner container to hold and express your full magnificence or Wild Power.
To give you a rough idea of these phases, in a classic 28 day cycle:
- The inner winter is approximately day 27 to day 5
- The inner spring is approximately day 6 to day 11
- The inner summer is approximately day 12 to day 19
- The inner autumn approximately day 20 to day 26
However, do not get too hung up on exact days. The important thing is to sense and follow your own cycle experience, and discover the season changing moments for yourself.
As you bring consciousness to and care for each season in turn, you restore the order of the cycle, your inner ecology, and with that create a feeling of greater ease and pleasure, coherence and effectiveness in using your power.
Inner winter and the sacred task of Surrender
First let’s focus on the inner winter – the time of menstruation. It is a season replete with the most amazing resources such as the ability to experience expansive awareness and altered states of consciousness, effortless presence, ecstasy and visioning, and love and Union. But to access these resources requires the sacred task of Surrender.
Surrender is your ability to let go and allow. It sounds so simple but in our action driven, action packed world Surrender can feel almost impossible…there is always another thing to do. And if we are honest, letting go can feel a little bit scary for most of us. Stopping may expose us to feelings that we may have been keeping at bay with activity. We might also feel like we are missing out, or it could feel plain boring. But, dear people, there is no way around this one if you want to come into a more aligned, wholesome place with your power.
Menstruation is the anchor of your power process. It is both the beginning and end of it. It’s the place where you root deeply into yourself. And Surrender is the means by which that anchoring happens. As you let go at menstruation you release tension, repair and refuel(through rest and the activation of the soothing balm of oxcytocin), re-connect, remember who are and what you are really about (your Calling or Wild Power). In this way your power process is fully prepped for the next round of action and the realisation of your Calling
To help you get in gear with your sacred task of Surrender we have a terrific blog from Claire Baker, one of our apprentices, and a skilled teacher and coach in menstruality
Inner spring and the sacred task of Cherishing yourself
Your inner spring is a place of becoming. You are in transition from the deep interiority of your inner winter and negotiating your way to the full expression of yourself in your inner summer. You are firming up your sense of identity, getting more and more comfortable in the sacred art of being you.
To help you with this quest, your inner spring comes replete with much goodness. Perhaps uppermost is the inner ‘yes’ you can feel as the energy rises, a yes to yourself, a yes to life. You are held in a world of possibility and hope, have a natural motivation and focus, and a playfulness that can easily segway into devil may care foolhardiness. Who would have thought foolhardiness was a power. But it is. It’s the force that pushes you out the door to do things before you think you’re ready…and all meaningful projects require a little foolhardiness!
To help you access your inner spring’s gifts you need the sacred task of cherishing yourself. It’s important to approach the inner spring and yourself with tenderness and care. Cherish has a protective quality, a warmth and preciousness. Within that protective circle of cherishing is a delicacy, tenderness and appreciation. There is something so gentle and precise – you really see the uniqueness and exquisiteness of yourself.
As you cherish yourself in this season of your cycle so you firm up the emerging sense of your true self so that you may stand confident and present in the world.To help you get in gear with the sacred task of Cherishing Yourself we have a terrific blog from Sue Blanch, one of our apprentices
Inner summer and the sacred task of Self Celebration
The inner summer is the ‘glamourous’ part of the power process. The aspect that is most acknowledged, valued and recognised as power in our culture. It’s what we normally think of as power….getting stuff done. And it is power. However it sits in a continuum. It is made possible by all the ‘power’ work that has gone before – surrendering yourself at menstruation to reconnect and remember who truly are; and the tender cherishing of your emerging self in the inner spring.
The inner summer invites you into the fullness of who you are – the liberated expression of your power. This phase ushers in the power of being visible and getting down to manifesting your Calling in the world. You blossom, you fulfill yourself, your spirit. And that will look different for each person.
In essence your inner summer is about the expression of your power in the world, daring to really be true to your own nature more than anything else. It’s about showing up as who you are.
Remember no one is you. And THAT is your POWER
To help you access all this extraordinary summer juiciness, to unlock its full power, there is a crucial task, a sacred task. And it is Self Celebration.
Yes, you recognising and celebrating yourself.
To help you get in gear with your sacred task of Celebrating yourself we have a terrific blog from Abi Denyer Bewick, one of our apprentices
Inner autumn and the sacred task of Holding Yourself
The inner autumn is where you are challenged and tempered to grow up, and take full responsibility for who you are. In holding the tension of the complexity of who you are, the light and dark, you allow your power to evolve. You have the power of ‘no’ on your side to clarify what’s in and what’s out and establish firm boundaries. As you learn to root in your authority and align with your truth (this what the autumn is asking of you), you come to wield your power wisely.
The inner autumn is the ‘home’ of your inner critic. The critic’s role is…well…to criticise. It’s remit is to challenge and it delivers its message with a sting. And it’s this combination of criticism delivered with a sting that is perfectly designed to cause disruption and disturbance within you, to break down the walls of your protection (in other words deflate the ego) so that you can grow and strengthen beyond what you have been before.
Your sacred task to meet this figure is to Hold Yourself – to hold the discomfort of what is happening in yourself when you encounter the critic. In other words, hang out with the discomfort long enough to be able to to hear what you critic is saying; to be present with the emotions long enough that you can hear through the barrage of crap into the heart of what it is saying and be able to acknowledge whatever kernel of truth there is, while simultaneously holding on to your own goodness and standing up to what’s not true in the critic’s words.
And your reward for meeting this month after month…a fierce, truth searing capacity to hold to the full brilliance of yourself and a tender humility; a resilience and responsiveness to life. In short Wisdom.
To help you get in gear with your sacred task of Holding yourself we have a terrific, very raw, real and moving blog from Kate Shepherd Cohen, mother, business owner and menstruality teacher, on how she is learning to hold herself in the face of a very fierce critic. And, most importantly, turn it into an ally.
The Wild Power Course
This blog supports the 6 week Wild Power Online Course, Session 3. To join the course go to www.wildpowercourse.com